Our stunning first collection of human story sphere translations, Alien Legends, enthralled the human reviewer at OnlineBookClub.org who said: “I loved every individual story in the book and would gladly recommend this book to anyone.” This reviewer clearly has excellent taste.
The Repository of Imagination invite submissions for the anthology
Any work not adhering to the following guidelines will be rejected.
Open for submissions from May 1st 2013
Closing date September 1st 2013
Update August 21st. It is my sad duty to inform you that Gill died suddenly on Monday. My thoughts are with her husband and children at this time. I know Gill was thrilled to be running the Weird Legends project but I’m not yet ready to start considering what will happen with the anthology. If you wanted to learn a little more about Gill, I have written a few words about her here. — Tim C. Taylor, Repository publisher.
With the publication of ‘Alien Legends’ the Repository of Imagination, the YA imprint of Greyhart Press, set up a website to encourage young writers. At http://www.ataleforatale.com 11 to 15 year olds can send in their own myths and legends, have them published on the site and receive an unpublished story in return.
To further encourage the fantasy and science fiction writers of the future the Repository is putting together an anthology of short stories and poems entitled ‘Weird Legends’. These can be in any speculative genre as long as they are suitable for
ages 11 and up… no sex, violence or anything truly horrific as these will be rejected.
We have no objection to previously published work as long as the author holds the rights.
All submissions must be all your own work.
Word Count: Max 10,000 words for shorts stories or 3 pages of double spaced for poetry. The stories in the previous book varied from a few lines up to stories divided up into sections due to length. I would like to do the same with this book so word count is just a guideline but we reserve the right to break up longer stories into ‘sections’ and distribute them throughout the book so that younger readers can read small sections at a time.
Your submission should be a word doc. or rtf and in a clear 12pt font (Times New Roman or Ariel preferred), double spaced and with margins on both sides of the page. Your name and title should be at the top of each page and pages should be clearly numbered.
Submissions should be sent to RepositoryofImagination@gmail.com in doc, docx, or rtf format.
Please put ‘Submission’ and the title of your work in the subject line of your email. In the body of the email put your name, contact details, word count and name of work.
Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t have the funds to pay for your work but likewise we aren’t going to charge you anything to send it in. As authors ourselves we know the majority of writers are neither in a position to pay nor do they want to. Authors will receive a free copy of the finished anthology both in e format and/or paperback.
Rights: We’re asking for non-exclusive worldwide print and eBook rights. Reprints are acceptable but if we are the first to publish your story then you can only subsequently market your story as a reprint, which will limit the number of magazines and anthologies that will accept it. By ‘reprint’ we mean your story has been published elsewhere either by another publisher, by you self-publishing the story as an eBook, or by you posting your story online.
If we accept your work a contract will be sent for your approval and acceptance of the terms laid out.
If we feel that the work could be improved by some editing then all changes will be discussed and agreed on with the author prior to changes being made.
All published authors will be allowed a short biography where they can mention their latest book/blog/short story etc.
Any queries should be directed to me, Gill Shutt, at the submissions address.
Today we have another free story taken from the book Alien Legends. This story is a morality tale. It might be true; it might not. That no longer matters because this tale has taken on such power that it has shaped its world. — Crustias
THE WISEWOMAN’S CHILD
RPI 532.Q44D / RRD 9
Everyone knows that if you want to get help from a wise-woman you must pay for her services; a prayer to the gods, a spell — these things have a price. This story, however, starts with a wise-woman who used her powers to help a friend who had not asked.
Jinesh worked on the local landowner’s farm; being a wise-woman did not put food on the table and she had children to feed. When it came time for the midday meal the workers would gather together and talk. One of Jinesh’s friends was a man named Kestan who was married to a girl from the village. Because Jinesh had children of her own, Kestan asked how long it should take for his wife to conceive a child as they had been married for quite a while. Jinesh reassured him but knew that the time they had waited was not normal. She decided to help Kestan and his wife.
That night she took out her inks and her pens and wrote out the spell for a healthy baby. She took food and drink to her sacred place and left them for the gods and she prayed to the goddess of fertility and her own god to whom she had dedicated her spirit. Within a few months Kestan confided in her that his wife was pregnant. Jinesh was so happy for him. The gods, however, required that Jinesh should pay a price for her good deed and, within two more months, she discovered that she too was pregnant.
Even before the birth Jinesh knew that the baby she carried was special. For a woman of her age to give birth at all there must have been intervention from the gods. The pregnancy went without trouble, no aches or pains, no sleepless nights, none of the usual problems.
When he was born, she called him Ichik, which means ‘special one’, and he was the most beautiful baby ever seen. When Ichik was a baby people would cross the road to come and see him and to touch him. Grown men would ask to hold him, and there was never a shortage of people willing to look after him. As a boy he roamed the town freely. Everyone had time for him and he never went short of food. Ichik spent his days learning from the craftsmen, helping the women with their housework and playing with the other children. Everyone loved him.
When Ichik reached his fifteenth birthday it came time for him to choose his second name, his descriptive name. Most people chose to name themselves after their job, such as Jinesh whose second name was Wisewoman. Many people put off their naming day until they were certain that they had chosen correctly but Ichik was not one of these. In front of friends and family Ichik stepped forward and announced that, from this day onward, he would be known as Ichik Leveler. There was much confusion and those gathered asked him this meant.
“From this day no man may put himself above another,” Ichik declaimed. “None may own the land and make others work it. Each man may work land for himself, villages may share land to be worked by all. Also, none may say that they are the voice of the gods. The wise-women have the ear of the gods but do not presume to speak for them. The priests will be put out of business, for that is what it is, a means of earning money. From this day all men and women will be equal, and my job will be to make it so.”
There were eight others there who had reached their naming day that season and were waiting their turn. The next to take her name was Dahan, Kestan’s daughter. When Ichik had finished she stood up.
“From this day onward I shall be known as Dahan Follower,” she said, and went and stood beside Ichik. The other seven, Nemat, Mohe, Sebish, Sarish, Angho, Figor and Chegot, all did likewise.
Then Ichik Leveler and his eight Followers went from that place to the home of the landowner and turned him out of his huge house. He and his family were given a cottage to live in and money enough for one year, for Ichik said that was time enough to learn a trade. The land was divided up equally amongst all who lived in the village, as was everything the landowner had gained from the hard work of the villagers. When everything was divided equally, Ichik and the Followers went to the temple and tore it down, stone by stone. The priests were allowed to stay in the village if they were willing to work but most left. Those that left were soon to discover that there was nowhere they could go, because Ichik Leveler and his Followers then split up, each traveling to a nearby village and each taking on more Followers. Temples were destroyed and landowners brought down, and so it went, until each and every village was run by the village for the village.
The people of this planet are an insect-like race with four legs and two hand-like structures. This story is from their ancient history and is explanatory of their way of life, which is one of equal rights for all. They have no monetary system, using goods to barter. The story is so ancient it is impossible to tell how much of it is true but Ichik Leveler has become an almost god-like figure and disagreements between people are taken to The Leveler’s Court where nine people are chosen to decide the rights and wrongs of the problem.
If you have enjoyed this tale, we have other stories free to read on our website. City of Khar is an introduction to the Repository, albeit a chilling one. The Green Tailor of Mermos-37 will look familiar at first, but this is not what it appears to be. — Crustias
+++ Stay alert for Repository updates +++ Tomorrow will see a new bonus story to read on the website +++ Subscribe to the site or miss out! +++
If you have the primitive reading devices known as the Kindle or iPad, then you may acquire our thrilling tale of a robot on the loose without paying any money. But you can only do this over the next three days. The novel is called Crank Tech One: Destruction. I have visited the Kindle Store in person a few seconds ago and can confirm this special offer has been activated. USA citizens follow this link. UK citizens follow this one.
Humans dwelling in the Welsh city of Cardiff should acquire this book immediately. It will explain how to respond should your city suffer robot attack.
We have negotiated with the entity known on your world as ‘Amazon’ to bring you a fantastic special offer on our robot rampage story, Crank Tech One: Destruction by human author, Colin R. Parsons. The Kindle version will be available for free from Amazon Kindle Stores from March 12th through 14th. Will the robot Tim found abandoned lead to the destruction of the Welsh capital? Only one way to find out…
The concluding part to our tale of a divided world. If you missed part one, no worry: you can read that by following this link.
More tales from other worlds will be posted soon. Subscribe or miss the wonder! — Crustias
The Green Tailor of Mermos-37
Part # 2
Suspended in the traditional way from the backs of four huge spinosaurs, the imperial platform lumbered around the corner and into Nibboloth Plaza, where the cheers of the crowd rose to a new crescendo.
The imperial procession had been hurriedly arranged to give the Emperor a chance to show off his new clothes. Luckily, the twelfth anniversary of his ascension to the imperial throne was soon, and if anyone thought it strange that the Emperor had suddenly decided to start celebrating that date, they were too sensible to mention that dangerous opinion.
In fact, the procession was going so well that the Emperor managed to almost forget his sea sickness, and the knowledge that his clothes were at best hideous (he wished the cloth would settle on a single color, rather than cycle through all the worst possibilities); and at worst, his clothes were invisible.
Perhaps he should do this procession thing more often? Yellow and blue banners festooned the route, flapping in the cooling breeze; the fanfares of welcome were sounded by the finest musicians in each city district as the procession crossed the boundary from one district to the next — all these things were in honor of the most powerful man in the world. And so he was, but the Emperor still felt compelled to sit on a throne lashed onto the back of a raft carried by huge reptiles with no more sophisticated suspension than bands of well-oiled leather. Tradition demanded he do so.
“Look, Father!” His younger daughter pointed to the Temple of the First Coming of Nibboloth at the center of the plaza. Young male acolytes, wearing loin cloths in imperial yellow and blue, were bungee jumping off the brass dome that topped the temple.
“Isn’t that dangerous?” asked the Empress.
“At least they’re making use of the dome,” said the Emperor’s older daughter.
The Emperor’s left head laughed at that. The Temple of Nibboloth had been awaiting the god’s first coming for over a thousand years. The brass dome was perfectly tuned — and was retuned every other Sunday — to be rung when Nibboloth finally put in an appearance.
Right Head shushed Left, but he was grateful to have something to joke about. The Emperor loved all the public adoration, but Right Head still felt uncomfortable with the knowledge that to some in the crowd, his new clothes were invisible. Underneath his loose-fitting robes, the easy palace life had made his tummy grow larger than he would like. Still, at least his belly covered up those bits he was least eager to have on display.
But his nakedness was all in a good cause.
The Emperor started waving to the crowd, which brought a great boost to the cheers.
Flitting silently, like an infestation of insects in stealth mode, fist-sized hoverbots darted through the crowd, ever alert, seeing everything, reporting anyone who appeared shocked by the emperor’s clothes… or lack of them!
Suzia’s left head craned back to watch the bungee jumpers high overhead while her secondary head — her right one — watched the Emperor’s approach. This was her way of pretending to be a normal person: a right-header. Actually, the religious jumpers of Nibboloth genuinely intrigued her. Jumping off a dome as not an obvious thing to do, nor a safe one. Smeared in grease, they slithered halfway down the side of the gleaming metal until their elastic ropes bounced them up again. The grease made the dome look as if it were bathed in sweat. The acolytes’ attire was the strangest thing of all. How Nibboloth was supposed to think that…
Wait! Something wasn’t right!
Instead of observing the procession, Right Head was staring straight at Dad, at the look of horror on both his faces.
Dad’s right head looked behind him and hissed: “Whatever you do, do not react when you see the Emperor. Instead, look at my reaction and try to appear surprised by me.”
Hoverbots began to crowd in, little black spheres stuffed with cameras.
Dad shut up.
Suzia’s right head whispered Dad’s instruction to her left head. Left promptly swung her attention round to her father. The weight of his unhappiness pushed down so hard he seemed on the verge of toppling over.
Theria giggled — both heads at the same time.
“There’s nothing to laugh at,” Suzia’s left head hissed at Theria.
“Course there is,” her younger sister’s left head replied.
“The Emperor looks like a clown,” added her right. “He looks a total ninnytwit.”
Suzia turned both heads to stare at the Emperor. There he was, flanked by his two daughters and his empress, sitting uncomfortably on his carved wooden throne… completely naked! Not a thread. Not even a stitch.
“His clothes are changing color,” Theria said, with difficulty as she was giggling so much. “He looks even sillier than the bungee jumpers.”
“Hey! We can hear you!” came a shout from above.
“The little girl’s right,” someone shouted from nearby in the crowd.
“But that’s the Emperor you’re talking about,” answered another voice.
“And he’s got a sense of humor. Good for him.”
As the crowd argued, Theria’s laughter took control of her. She pointed at the Emperor, shaking with mirth. “Look! Look! Look at the Emperor’s clothes!”
Suzia could sense the crowd tense. Everyone but Theria shut up.
The tension had wound the people up as tightly as a spring. That spring had to release, and it could have come out as panic. A few people could have started to slink away, scared they would be arrested if they stayed. Then, frightened that they would be the ones left behind, everyone else would stampede to get away. The crush would be horrendous. People would get hurt.
But that didn’t happen. The spring stayed wound for a few moments longer.
Putrid green. Shocking pink. Electric blue with snot green zigzags… The Emperor’s robes lit up in such a ludicrous series of patterns that the crowd couldn’t help itself. After an awkward, long silence when the only sounds were Theria screeching with mirth, and the soft hum of the hoverbots, the crowd erupted into laughter. Within seconds, what had begun as a nervous release, grew into full-on, belly-clutching, side-splitting, tears-running-down-cheeks, trying-not-to-wet-yourself laughs — the kind that fed on itself and could not stop.
“What a performance!”
“Look at him go!”
“What do you call that color?”
“I can’t believe it.”
“What a guy!”
“Who’d have thought?”
“Oh, this is priceless!”
Both of Suzia’s heads looked through the cheering, chortling crowd, scanning the reactions.
And if some of those people were laughing at whatever it was that Theria was seeing, and if others were laughing because the Emperor looked completely naked, then no one could tell the difference.
Suzia grabbed a passing hoverbot and kissed it.
Theria had saved them!
Chancellor Ireton escorted the Aphidian tailor back to the imperial throne room.
The Emperor waved his encouragement. The procession had been a spectacular success, though the Emperor had made it very clear to his personal servant that morning that he was to wear his old clothes from now on.
“You have done well, tailor,” said the Emperor’s right head.
He could not, of course, reliably interpret alien body language, but he thought the creature acted pleasantly surprised, as if he were accustomed to his special clothing being a failure.
“The Emperor’s new clothes were a stunning success,” said Chancellor Ireton. “Surprise is such a difficult reaction to conceal, and those dangerous left-headers were certainly surprised by His Imperial Majesty’s… ah… apparent immodesty. The hoverbots caught even more renegades than we’d hoped.”
“Excellent,” said the Emperor. “And that wretched lot on Nibboloth Plaza — the steaming pile of degenerates who laughed at me — have you arrested all of them?”
Ireton, paused before replying, “No, Your Majesty.”
“Well, when you do, make sure you execute the lot of them. Painfully.”
Ireton paused again. “Your Majesty, you know that I treat left-headers and other rebels with the utmost firmness.”
The Emperor thought a moment, trying to work out what the chancellor was babbling on about. But he knew without a doubt that what she had said was true: the chancellor was indeed ruthless. “Go on,” he said.
Chancellor Ireton smiled elegantly. The Emperor knew Ireton was tough with his enemies, but what he didn’t realize was that she was even better at telling him what he wanted to hear. If it came to a choice between doing what was in her master’s best interests, and telling him something that would make her popular in his eyes — well, that was no choice at all!
“Your Majesty, the people on Nibboloth Plaza laughed because…” She gave a polite cough, and whispered. “Your attire was most colorful.”
“What? Well, maybe it was, but that’s no excuse for laughing.”
“Of course not, Your Majesty. Still, it would seem a shame to execute them. They only laughed at you because they love you.”
“Rubbish! They were mocking me.”
“Perhaps… But… just maybe… they felt they were sharing a joke with their imperial ruler. After all, if they only hated or feared you, they would not have dared to laugh. Only those who felt they could trust you would laugh.”
An unfamiliar warm feeling spread through the Emperor. The Chancellor’s words made sense. They made a lot of sense! “You know, Ireton, there’s a reason I keep you around.”
“Really, Your Majesty?” Ireton had a warm feeling too — one of relief. The Emperor’s chancellors never lasted long. Perhaps she wouldn’t need to use that emergency off-world escape plan just yet.
“Yes, Ireton, you fool.” The Emperor laughed. “I have many faults, but vanity is not one of them. Occasionally I know that even I can be wrong, and you are the only person I know who can spot those times.”
The Chancellor bowed so low her heads nearly touched the ground.
“They were good people on Nibboloth Plaza,” said the Emperor, “every man, woman, and child.” The smile left his lips on both faces. “Now, how many lefties have we arrested so far?”
Ireton bowed again, looking very pleased with herself. “The count so far is 2,173.”
The Emperor whistled with both heads. That was a lot!
“Who could have imagined that so many ran wild in the underbelly of the imperial capital?” said Ireton. “But never again will the left-headers be such a threat, thanks to the magical cloth of our green Aphidian friend.” She gestured toward the alien, eager to shift the Emperor’s attention onto someone else.
The Emperor nodded agreement. “Yes, indeed, Ireton. The people love me and the left-headers are being arrested in droves.” He gave out a happy sigh. “Well done, my green friend,” he told the tailor.
The alien — the smelly green alien, if the Emperor was honest — was so taken by this praise, that he danced a jog on his spindly hind legs, giving off a scent of old woodsmoke and rotten grass cuttings.
The Emperor imagined he could actually smell words coming off the tailor.
Finally, it seemed to say. It worked!
You might have heard similar stories from your own planet. The tailors’ special clothing usually yields disastrous results, and yet the Aphidians are fantastically (not to mention annoyingly) rich. So if their clothing normally brings disaster, where does their wealth come from?
We simply do not know the answers to this question. If you know of a tale to enlighten us, please come into our nearest Repository branch and swap it for one of our stories in our A Tale for a Tale program.
Though we can’t be sure whether this story is true, the rivalry between left- and right-headed people on Mermos-37 sadly is all too true… or rather it was. The madness of purity afflicts most species in the early stage of their development, but most grow beyond it when they move from their home worlds to encounter the vast diversity of the galaxy.
In this case, the left-headers died out within a dozen generations of our story. You might think that with the left-headers no longer there, the right-headers would no longer feel threatened. But the problem with a purity-obsession is always the same — the criteria for purity grows narrower and narrower until almost everyone is classified as one of the impure. The right-headers turned their fear and hatred on themselves.
But this two-headed race did not quite die out. No, no, their fate is far worse. Made immortal by anti-ageing nanobots, and indestructible by armored robotic exoskeletons built from exotic metals mined from white dwarf stars, what was once a vibrant race has been reduced to two individuals, each trying to purge the other from existence for the sin of impurity.
These two have been hammering away at each other for the 78,000 years since we recorded this story sphere. We suspect this is only the start of their battle.
The Repository of Imagination has entranced sentient life-forms throughout the galaxy for tens of thousands of years, thrilling and informing its users in equal measure.
Now, for the first time, Earth dwellers can not only purchase story spheres [available for SensoDrama-5D and compatible immersion systems; prices start at 2,500 Galactic Currency Units] but the Repository has launched a story acquisition service on planet Earth. Humans can now swap A Tale for a Tale GTM using the Earth Internet. Send us your short tales of imagination – they could feature humans or aliens, and could be about magical realms as well as other planets – and we could publish them on our Earth-branch website… and send you a tale back in return*.*Tales supplied by The Repository under this offer are only available in primitive human eBook formats, such as Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or PDF. The Repository of Information and ‘A Tale for a Tale’ slogan are Galactic Trademarks, and protected by interstellar legislation.
Galaxy-spanning alien organization The Repository of Imagination opens its story portal for young adults on Earth and releases a first book of tales from other worlds.
Commenting on the news, Senior Repositarian Crustias Scattermush said, “I am delighted to announce the full opening of our branch today. This is our first publication of stories sourced from other worlds, to complement the tales we already provide from human authors. We are serializing a selection of stories at our website. Come, join us!”
Alien Legends: A Selection from the Repository of Imagination is published today by the Repository of Imagination in conjunction with Greyhart Press.
Alien legends is available now in paperback and eBook formats and US & UK editions
To be published shortly in ePUB through Barnes & Noble, Sony Readerstore and iTunes, Smashwords.
“Welcome to the Repository of Imagination, young sir. Do you have a tale you wish to hear?”
From astonishing worlds of fantasy, aliens, and magic, the Repository of Imagination has been collecting tales since the dawn of time. Now, for the first time, selected story spheres from the Repository have been translated into human languages. Open your mind to the splendor of other worlds, to fantastic creatures so alike you humans in some ways, yet in other ways so different. Learn the cautionary tales of those whose lives played out eons before your own.
Alien Legends: A Selection from the Repository of Imaginationcollects 32 separate stories suitable for young humans aged 11-15 years, and for older readers whose sense of wonder is still functional. Translated from the original alien sources by Gill Shutt.
What you will find inside
If you enjoy reading anything in this list, then Alien Legends is for you, as all of these are featured in its stories: giant eagles, aliens, gods, space whales, falling in love, more aliens, short stories, the birth of worlds, poems, betrayal, questing knights, novellas, spaceships, dark underground caverns, novellas, science fiction, rites and rituals, and deadly fungus that will eat you as you sleep.
The Repository of Imagination is REAL! And YOU can get involved
“I shall need a tale from you, my friend…”
We hope the tales in this compendium inspire your own imagination to soar. At the back of the book are details of our ‘A Tale for a Tale’ program that explain how you can create and share your own story sphere. The Repository of Imagination is not something we’ve made up. It is real, and you can get involved.